Did you know Appodeal was officially launched to the public in January of 2015? That means Appodeal just reached our fourth year mark!

It’s remarkable how much the mobile ad tech industry has evolved since we first embarked on our mission to shift the power back to the side of the mobile app publishers. While our focus was always to put “publishers first,” we realized that concept could mean many different things.

That is why a year ago we defined and refined our core values to guide everything we do to put publishers first.

We centered on the main concept of Reliability. Our mission since is to be the most reliable ad monetization partner on the market for mobile app publishers.

We do this by focusing on five key values:

  1. Innovativeness  
  2. Unbiasedness
  3. Transparency
  4. Convenience
  5. Stability  

Now that 2019 is here, let’s take a look back at 2018 and see how we did!

INNOVATIVENESS

Publishers can rely on us to innovate continuously in developing the most advanced ad monetization platform on the market.

When Appodeal launched in 2015, we were arguably the first to release the original intelligent ad mediation solution to the market. No longer did app publishers need to spend countless hours integrating and managing each ad network’s SDK individually. Through a single SDK integration, publishers could monetize with multiple ad demand sources (now over 60). This shift opened up significant ad revenue opportunities and freed up time for publishers to focus on making their apps great for users. Since then, using an ad mediation solution has become the norm for mobile app publishers of all types.

Flash forward to 2018, we are proud to have become the first to launch an In-app Header Bidding Solution, or Parallel Bidding as we like to call it. While header bidding technology existed in the desktop world, where it was prevalent for years, it has remained elusive for mobile apps. But that is no longer the case. In May of 2018, our release of a live SDK (2.4.0) that harnessed the power of parallel bidding represented a game-changer in how ads are auctioned and served.

Finally, a better alternative to the increasingly outdated waterfall model became a reality. Instead of requesting ads from ad demand sources sequentially, parallel bidding ad requests get sent out simultaneously to the demand sources and enable them to place ad bids in real-time. This improvement not only meant that the process became more efficient, it also boosted revenue for publishers. Check out our early results report of how parallel bidding increased ARPDAU by 30%.

And just right before 2018 closed, we’ve innovated on parallel bidding further with the release of  SDK 2.5.0. It introduced the logic of Power Bid and doubled the number of ad networks powered by parallel bidding to more than ten, including AppLovin, Vungle, AdColony, and TapJoy, along with over 50 DSPs.

The transition from the era of the waterfall model to the era of parallel bidding has just taken another big leap forward.

UNBIASEDNESS

Publishers can rely on us to provide an ad mediation solution that is 100% unbiased so they earn the highest ad revenue possible for each and every ad impression.

Since Appodeal started purely as an ad mediator, ensuring our mediation is unbiased was built-in as a core part of our platform. Essentially, as we are not also an ad network, we do not have to prioritize ads from any particular advertiser at the expense of our publishers’ revenue. Only revenue for publishers matters. And to make it possible for publishers to elevate their ad revenue potential even more, we released a couple of features in 2018 to empower those with the ad operations resources to do just that!

The first was the relaunch of our Segments tool in early 2018. The updated Segments feature made it much simpler to A/B test and create different ad experiences for different sets of user types, by providing convenient preset filters such as country or part of audience, along with numerous targeting settings. Furthermore, combined with our other new tool, Placements, publishers can A/B test various ad placements within their apps to see which ads configurations work best for delivering high ad revenue and optimum user experience.

We then followed up with the release of Demand Control Center (DCC), an advanced tool for our premium and enterprise account publishers. With DCC, publishers can take full control of their waterfall setups down to the line item level, with the ability to manually prioritize, enable or disable any ad networks (under their own accounts) with just one click. This feature makes it possible for publishers to establish direct eCPM deals and manage relationships with ad networks without any involvement from Appodeal. (That is unless publishers want Appodeal to be involved on their behalf as we also now have a team member available to help advocate for direct deals between publishers and ad networks.)

TRANSPARENCY

Publishers can rely on us to provide transparent data and insights so they can make smarter informed strategic decisions.

As more and more mobile app publishers continue to adopt in-app ads as a part of their monetization strategy mix, providing transparency in ad performances is a must in order for publishers to make data-driven monetization strategies. With ad performances of over 60 ad demand sources all shown on our one easy-to-use dashboard under a unified set of metrics, publishers are equipped with the analytics they need to make fair comparisons and better informed decisions.

To provide publishers with even more insights, we’ve added a couple of neat features to our dashboard in 2018:

  • Complementing the essential ad metrics (such as revenue, eCPM, impressions) we’ve added DAU (daily average users), Retention Rate and ARPU (average revenue per user) data to the dashboard. With these data, publishers now have even more access to a more holistic understanding of their app’s performance in one convenient spot.  
  • Now the various ad demand sources (i.e. ad networks, ad exchanges, DSPs) are labeled as such next to the source’s name. Previously lumped together under the “Appodeal Exchange” label, the names and performances of DSPs are now shown individually just like ad networks.  
  • We also have a new Ad Revenue Attribution tool (currently available by request for our premium and enterprise account publishers). This tool lets publishers see which of their user acquisition sources acquired the most profitable users in terms of ad revenue, either via API or our integration with AppsFlyer. Stay tuned as our official announcement of this new tool will be coming out soon.  

In case you’ve missed it, we’ve released the industry’s only second annual Mobile In-App Monetization Performance Index, which provides insights on the top monetizing ad networks and eCPM trends of the different ad formats around the world (available for download here).

We also hosted a bunch of webinars with industry experts that have lots of great tips to share. Watch the recordings here:

CONVENIENCE

Publishers can rely on us to be there to take care of their monetization-related issues so they can focus on what they do bestcreating awesome apps!

One of the most frequent frustrations we’ve observed from publishers about ad monetization is the lack of one-on-one support available on the market. They would often spend countless hours digging through resources on their own when that time should have been spent improving their apps instead.

That’s why we’re proud to be one of the few ad monetization platforms to offer live technical support 24/7. And we’re pleased that so many publishers are taking advantage of it!

In 2018, we’ve replied to 16,279 live support requests with a median response time of 4 minutes and a 90% satisfactory rating. On average, it took 11 hours, a bit over one business day, from the start of a support request to fully resolve the technical or integration issues.

To show that we really mean putting convenience for publishers first, we even began offering our premium and enterprise account publishers the option of having one of our engineers to work at their location as an in-house specialist and to ensure their customized ad monetization solution is setup properly. One publisher actually took advantage of this benefit in 2018. For ten weeks, our engineer lived in Athens, where the publisher is based, to help configure, test and optimize their customized setup. Now that is the true definition of convenience.

On May 25, 2018, GDPR, the new EU law governing privacy protection came into effect. To make it easier for our publishers to comply with GDPR, we’ve updated our privacy policy and released a set of resources, including a GDPR-friendly SDK, consent window samples, and a GDPR resource hub.

We continued to add more ad demand sources and their ad format offerings throughout the year. Most notable was making rewarded video ads from AdMob and Facebook Audience Network, among the highest earning ads, available. Fourteen DSPs were also added to the ad mediation stack, including Criteo, Rubicon and Applift.

Behind the scenes, whenever one of our 60+ ad demand sources made a technical update, our engineering team would proactively take care of it, along with any bugs that might arise, so our publishers could continue to monetize seamlessly and simply focus working on their apps.

STABILITY

Publishers can rely on us to provide a quality-assured SDK and to payout what they’ve earned on a consistent and timely basis.

Last but not least is the consistency in the quality performance of our SDK and our payouts to publishers. We understand how essential it is for publishers to monetize without interruptions and how even a day of downtime can have acute effects on their business operations.

If you’ve started using Appodeal before 2018, you may have had experienced some SDK instabilities that interrupted your ad monetization. In 2018, you may have noticed that these interruptions occurred much more rarely. That was no coincidence.

Last year, we developed and expanded our QA team whose main goal is to identify and prevent SDK crashes before they could potentially happen. Through implementing various methods, such as crash hunter solutions to detect SDK crashes (from our SDK and 3rd party ad network SDKs) and regression testing before a SDK release, we are continuously taking proactive approaches to stop interruptions before they occur.

All of these improvements in 2018 would not matter if not for the most important feature for publishers—payouts!

As we understand how crucial momentum is for fast-growing apps in being able to reinvest in user acquisitions, we’ve designed our payout system to be among quickest on the market by offering advanced payouts to publishers on a net-30 basis or immediately by on-demand.

Considering how most of our 60+ ad demand partners pay Appodeal beyond the 30 day window, we are especially proud to provide this one unified advanced payout service with our publishers’ needs front and center. In fact, we’ve paid out a total of 13,275 times to our publishers, of which 7,216 were on-demand, in 2018.

And thanks to our $8 million Series A investment in May 2018, publishers can continue to monetize with confidence knowing that Appodeal will be here for the long haul.

SOMETHING WE CAN DO BETTER IN 2019?


How did you think we did in 2018? Love our product? Something we can do better in 2019?

This week, our entire team of over 125 will be gathering for our annual global sync in Minsk, Belarus, one of the fastest growing hi-tech hubs in Europe as well as the location of one of our new global offices! Together we will be discussing our ideas and plans to further our mission of putting publishers first in 2019.

And we would love to hear from youthe publishers!

If you have any feedback on how we’re doing or suggestions on what Appodeal can do to make your ad monetization experience even better, please let us know by filling out this survey:

TAKE SURVEY

On behalf of the entire Appodeal team, thank you to all our publishers for being a part of our mission to shift the power back to the side of the mobile app publishers. We wish you much success with your apps in 2019 and beyond!

Main illustration: Natasha Dzhola